Yarmolenko scores an own goal in the 34th minute. Many opportunities for the Gialloblù national team who also complained of a penalty denied by the Var. For the Welsh it will be the second world champion participation after that of 1958
In the Cardiff flood, tears mingle with rain. The dream of the World Cup ends on the most beautiful, for Ukraine, and also in the most mocking way. It is hardly necessary to notice the slightest relief that such an undertaking would have provided. It all happens in five nightmarish minutes, in the first half final. First Yarmolenko’s own goal, then the sensational penalty not granted due to a contact on the West Ham striker. The two teams face each other without reservations, the challenge is intense for all ninety minutes and open to any outcome. In the end, Wales prevailed, led by Ramsey’s excellent performance in directing and by the flashes of the usual Bale, leader of another conquest. It will be the second participation in the World Cup for the Welsh, after the memorable one in 1958 which ended in the quarter-finals.
Petrakov does not experiment and re-proposes the same eleven starter who had beaten Scotland in the previous round. The choice seems right, with Ukraine being preferred in the early stages of the match. In fact, at 3 ‘Zinchenko scores directly from a free-kick, but kicks before the referee Mateu Lahoz whistles: goal canceled. It was Yaremchuk a few minutes later who called Hennessey at the first intervention of the game on a good diagonal, while Zinchenko’s attempt from distance to half an hour did not frame the goal. Wales unlocks the match in the 34th minute: Bale takes charge of the serve of a free-kick, opts for a straight cross at half height; Yarmolenko clumsily puts his head in it and shoves Bushchan for the advantage. The attacker is not upset, he raises himself forward and at 40 ‘he would also have found a way to be forgiven. Allen falls asleep in the area, Yarmolenko anticipates him and is literally kicked by the opponent. Mateu Lahoz makes clear gestures that he has seen and evaluated him, indicating to continue. Behavior that somehow delegitimizes the Var to suggest the review, leaving the referee in error.
In any case, Wales does not give up on pushing back from the locker room, quite the contrary. At the start of the second half, Ramsey has the knockout blow on his right but opens the plate too much in the center of the area. Ukraine faces forward with a very similar action, which brings Tsygankov to the conclusion and Hennessey opposes with his feet. At 75 ‘the double opportunity for the Welsh: on the cross from the right, Johnson kicks on the fly but hits the post; on the development of the action, Bale gets to the shot finding Bushchan rejected. Petrakov changes his set-up, puts in the giant Dovbyk who takes off very high in the 85th minute. He did not deal with an insurmountable Hennessey, who also thwarts the latest concrete threat produced by Ukraine. There is no happy ending this time. At the World Cup, sixty-four years later, there will be Wales.
June 5 – 8:19 pm
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